After Marcella went to talk with mother, I excused myself from the table. Madelyn and Ryan volunteered to do the dishes. My suspicion being that they wanted to spend time together and have a water war. They better realize that they will also have to clean the kitchen.
As I walk up the stairs to change, my thoughts about the lingering Jupiter’s scent from the living room are put on hold for Uncle Rex asked to help him pack.
I follow him into the guest room and see a toxic pink gift box on the bed.
"For you," said Uncle Rex behind me.
I look at him, feeling surprised.
"Your birthday is coming up," Uncle Rex said simply. "Considering that I'll probably not see you ─"
He didn't need to finish his sentence. Both of us knew that he is "Undesirable Number One" in our household.
"Can I open it now?" I asked, knowing full well that it may not be an option.
Uncle Rex nods and I take off the ribbon.
Before I open my gift, Madelyn appears at the door and comes up to stand next to me.
"Father is horrible! He volunteered to drive Ryan home and told me to do the dishes by my lonesome. So they're done. Oh... a present!" Madelyn exclaims.
I laugh and pull off the lid.
Inside the box rests a purple exquisite purse. I fish it out and open it. Inside there are three earring pairs, three matching bracelets and necklaces. I gaze at Uncle Rex, shocked.
"My daughter helped with the gift," he said proudly.
I laugh again. "Yeah, that's her area. Thank you both so much!" I hug him tight.
“I’ll be borrowing that sometime in the future.” Madelyn tries to grab at my new purse.
“No way.” I hold it close. “Wait till it’s your birthday.”
Madelyn laughs. “Fine. I’m going to talk with Marcella, I think she needs me. Want to come?”
“Nope.” I shook my head. “I need to help Uncle Rex pack.”
“Okay then,” Madelyn said before rushing out of the room. I blink, thinking that she is up to something.
It takes ten minutes for us to finish packing.
Uncle Rex looks at me. “My plane is in the early in the morning. When you talk with your mom, tell her that I have my rental car and that I’ll leave before anyone wakes up. Less hassle like that.” He pauses. “This is goodbye for now.”
“I don’t want to talk to her,” I snapped without meaning to.
Uncle Rex gives me a hug. “She’s your mother and she thought she was doing what’s best for you. Try to see it from her perspective. Her daughter got engaged before her life really begun. Now, I need some sleep if I am to drive myself. Good night, Melina. Say goodbye to the girls for you.”
“They can say their goodbye’s themselves,” I replied.
“Marcella is too mad after talking with your mother and Madelyn’s head is the clouds. No one is thinking about this old man and thanks for forgiving me. I know you didn’t want me to see you doing readings but it meant a lot.”
I squeeze him tight. “Night, Uncle Rex.” Then, I walk, close the door behind me and walk over to my parents’ bedroom.
Before I can knock my mother’s voice sounds loud and clear. “Come in, Melina.”
I open the door, walk in, close the door and lean against it. Mother is sitting on the bed, brushing her hair. Father is nowhere to be seen.
“I am mad at you,” I said.
“I know,” she replied.
“You were the one that said that there no secrets in this household,” I continued. “You lied for most of my life.”
“I know,” she replied after dropping the brush next to her. “How could we have told you? You wouldn’t have understood that you were promised to a fairy and a prince at that. Also, so you live the life you were meant to before she came to claim you for her son.”
“Are you kidding?” I yelled. “We were told about magick when we were three! You introduced us to your magickal friends and read us ‘real’ stories about elves, fairies, dragons, and more rather than feeding us fairytales. Why would I not have trusted you when if you told me about me being engaged!”
My mother glares at me. “What is wrong with you and Cella today? Both raising your voices at your mother. I’m your mother!”
“And we’re your daughters!” I shouted back and start crying. “Do you know how it felt hearing everything from the queen? Do you know how it felt to be drawn to Jupiter and not knowing if it was love or because of who he is? Do you know what I went through and you want me to stay calm?”
Through tears, I can see her walking over and wrapping her arms around me. I don’t push her away, I just cry. It’s too much, just too much. Too much with Callum. Too much with that secret admirer for Cella. Too much with Jupiter. Just too much. I let my mother lead me to her bed and we sit down.
“I am sorry,” my mother apologized, still holding me. “The queen promised me to find you when you were older, at least twenty-one when you will be an adult. She broke that promise. I think your uncle’s ball was too much for her to resist or Jupiter was tired waiting.” She lets me go and looks into my eyes. “The boy is smart. He didn’t shake hands me, I think he knows my magick.”
I rub my eyes. “What? When was Jupiter here?”
She looks guiltily at me. “I don’t think I should have said anything. He stopped by to defend your sisters and you about what happened with Callum before you walked in on the conversation.” She sighs. “No more secrets, I promise.”
I nod. “Thanks. By the way don’t bother waking up to say goodbye to Uncle Rex in the morning. He’ll be gone before any one of us wake up.”
She laughs. “Not if I can help it. I need to talk to him and maybe fix our friendship. Your father on the other hand is going to be a bear for a while so just leave him be.”
“Right,” I get up. “Night, mom.”
I walk out and go to Marcella’s room. The scent of a spell lingers in the hallway and I get mad. “Cella! You better open this door this instant!”